I first heard about Wonderbly a few years back, while my wife was pregnant with our daughter.
The concept sounded amazing:
A personalized kids book, where your child was the star of the story! The books supposedly had your kid’s name and likeness woven into the story, so each book was completely custom.
At the time, my daughter was a long way away from being able to read on her own or even recognize her name in a book, but I knew I wanted to grab a few of these to keep for down the road.
As the proud owner of two of these awesome books, here’s my honest and hands-on Wonderbly review:
Overall, I absolutely love the Wonderbly personalized books. Not only is it a fun concept (these are sure to become your kid’s absolute favorite books over the years), the book quality is fantastic.
Superb art, thick, high-quality pages and binding, and great storytelling make these books well worth the price.
These are really fun to read, but they’re also keepsakes you’ll want to hold onto forever and ever.
Now let’s dive in a little deeper.
What is Wonderbly & how does it work?
Wonderbly, simply put, offers personalized kids books for all different ages.
What is a personalized kids book?
Basically, Wonderbly inserts your child’s name and likeness (you can choose a main character that looks like them) into pre-written stories and prints a custom book, just for you.
Often, the content of the story is modified to fit your child (using their name, gender, and other cool details you provide.)
Back when I first ordered my Wonderbly books a few years ago, they only offered two stories, but now they have a ton:
Wonderbly has over a dozen customizable books for children as young as babies, and as old as 12 years old.
(I have The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name, about a child on a magical adventure to find each of the letters of her name…
… and The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home, which doesn’t seem to be offered anymore. Too bad, it’s a good one!)
Getting started is really simple.
Just choose a book, write in your child’s name, and pick the character drawing that looks the most like them.
I LOVE the customization options on these books. You don’t just choose Boy or Girl, you can choose characters with the skin and hair color of your child, so they really feel like it’s them in the story!
Lost My Name only has three choices per sex, but some of the newer books have way more choices for skin and hair color combinations.
From there, you can preview the entire book and see just about every page.
For books where your child’s name, gender, or other details impact the story, you can make tweaks and changes to the way things play out.
For example, in Lost My Name, each page of the book uses an animal that starts with one of the letters of your child’s name.
Before you buy, you can swap out different animal choices and totally customize the book from front to back.
When you’re happy with the way the book looks, you can add in a dedication.
Jot down a personal note to your child and it’ll be printed at the beginning of the book!
That’s it. You’re just about ready to check out.
The whole process is super easy and only takes about 5 minutes, tops.
Book Quality & Photos
Like I said above, I have two of the Wonderbly books and absolutely love both of them.
The stories are long and engaging (perfect for my now 4-year-old), but some of the other books are a little shorter and simpler for younger kiddos.
They also have some more complex reads for older kids.
The quality of the printing is absolutely top-notch.
You seriously have to see and feel these things in person to appreciate them.
The art is stunning and printed on thick, textured cardstock.
As I said, these are books you’ll want to hold onto forever (in addition to reading every night).
They’re just SO gorgeous.
As for the story, the books are quite exciting and engaging.
My daughter loves to read these, and has only become more obsessed with them as she’s gotten older.
“Mama, it’s me, it’s me!” she always says during the story.
(I’m not making this up.)
If I have one complaint, it’s that the rhymes and rhythm of the book can be a little bit clunky in places, and you might trip over words here and there because of some awkward phrasings, but that’s small potatoes.
Trust me, you’ll be REALLY happy to have these in your nightly rotation and library.
How much does a Wonderbly personalized book cost?
Wonderbly books start at around $29.99.
Most of the books are the same price, but some of the longer and more complex stories for older kids cost a little bit more (up to $34.99, as of this writing.)
I know that’s not cheap!
It’s quite a lot compared to your standard, run of the mill kids storybook.
But this isn’t a standard, run of the mill kids storybook!
For a gift, newborn, birthday, holiday, or other special occasion, these are really one-of-a-kind keepsakes your kids will cherish for years and years to come.
No, you probably won’t stock your library with the whole Wonderbly catalog — they’re a little expensive for that.
But as a special treat for your kiddo, or as a gift for someone else, they’re pretty much unbeatable.
(P.S. You can also pay extra to print the book in hardcover, clothbound spine, or to include a special gift box.)
Wonderbly Pros & Cons
So let’s jump into my final recommendation.
You might love Wonderbly if:
- You’ve got the budget for a truly special keepsake
- You’re struggling to get your kid(s) engaged in regular storybooks
- You appreciate high-quality printing and custom artwork in your books
- You’re looking for better ethnic representation in your books — choose a character that looks just like your kiddo!
Wonderbly might not be for you if:
- The price tag is too hard to stomach (put it on your wish list for next Christmas or birthday instead)
- Your kid destroys book covers and pages (trust me, you’ll be pretty sad if these get ripped up)
Overall, I can’t give Wonderbly anything but a glowing recommendation.
The books are amazing and the keepsakes are something I really cherish. The quality of the books is fantastic and they should last forever, barring some kind of catastrophe!
The only drawback might be the price. At nearly $30 per book, it’s a little steep and not something most people could afford to purchase regularly.
Any questions about Wonderbly books? The customization process? The book quality? The stories?
Let me know in the comments!
Does Wonderbly have books for older kids and teenagers?
Check out My Golden Ticket, a personalized book collaboration with Roald Dahl based on the famous Willy Wonka stories.
It’s a perfect long read for kids age 5 to 12, and it’s fully personalized using their full name.
How much does Wonderbly shipping cost & how fast does Wonderbly ship?
The books themselves take about 1 to 3 days to actually print and manufacture.
From there, they’ll ship out. How long it takes until they’re delivered depends on where you are in the world, but you can expect it to take 1-2 weeks for delivery if you’re in the United States.
(Wonderbly has a shipping time calculator tool you can use to get a better idea, if you’re trying to figure out if you can get your book before a holiday or birthday.)
Standard shipping to the United States should cost you around $5.99 on most orders (Express should start around $10.99), but double-check your shopping cart with Wonderbly to make sure.
Is Wonderbly the best-personalized children’s books?
Wonderbly is the only one I’ve personally tried, but I give it my uncompromised stamp of approval!
If there’s another custom children’s book company you think I should try out, let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do!